THE PLANK MAY 19, 2008
As a bit of a follow up to Gabe Sherman’s nice reporting about the Wall Street Journal’s internal fissures and editorial shakeups, reporters last week asked if yet another new chair may be pulled up to the News Corp table:
Rap superstar 50 Cent is on the verge of signing a new branding deal with media mogul Rupert Murdoch's company that's worth a cool $300 million.The "In Da Club" hitmaker is in final negotiations with Murdoch's News Corp firm, which owns social networking site MySpace, for a large stake in all aspects of the 50 Cent brand, including music, concerts, books and his label G-Unit Records.
Well. This isn’t super different from the $150 million LiveNation marketing deal inked by Jay-Z in April, which included provisions for a start-up label, music publishing, talent consulting and management. But half the balance of 50's deal—which eclipses the earlier record—would be settled with News Corp stock.
The whole transaction sounds pretty much absurd on its face, but if the rumored deal is real, one arm could be especially fun to watch: G-Unit Books. Curtis "50" Jackson has been a mover in the publishing world since 2007, when he launched that imprint with Simon and Schuster, which now retails in stores across the country. 50 would not only be one of the top stakeholders in the media conglomerate, but News Corp would have a hand in the explosive, if intemperate “street fiction” market. I trust Murdoch has been studying up.(Via Michael Calderone)--Dayo Olopade